Jeremy Hunt, the Tory Foreign Secretary, recently criticised a tweet by Jeremy Corbyn as “pathetic and predictable”. What for? Commenting on the attacks against two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, Corbyn’s tweet simply stated:
“Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf, not fuel a military escalation that began with US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. Without credible evidence about the tanker attacks, the government’s rhetoric will only increase the threat of war.”
What is really “pathetic and predictable” was Hunt’s automatic acceptance of the US administration’s version of events - that Iran is responsible for these attacks.
Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf, not fuel a military escalation that began with US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. Without credible evidence about the tanker attacks, the government’s rhetoric will only increase the threat of war.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 14, 2019
They say jump…
This episode serves to highlight how imperialism – the domination of the globe by finance capital – really works. The world’s biggest imperialist power – the USA – attempts to assert its dominance globally. Second-rate powers like Britain, too weak to assert their own interests, unquestionably back Washington like the feeble sidekick of a playground bully. The USA calls the shots and its ‘allies’ subserviently follow.
In reply to Corbyn, Hunt asked “why can he [Corbyn] never bring himself to back British allies, British intelligence or British interests?” What Hunt really means is the interests of the British ruling class, which are bound to the interests of their American masters. Pathetic indeed!
When it comes to beating the drums for war, those of us with longer memories could be forgiven for not taking Washington’s version of events as “credible evidence”. Who can forget the claim, used to justify the invasion of Iraq, that Saddam Hussain possessed an arsenal of “weapons of mass destruction”?
Or, going back to the 1960s and Vietnam, what about the manufactured 'Gulf of Tonkin' incident? Then, in order to justify escalating the war, the US military made up claims that North Vietnam attacked a US Navy destroyer - claims that were later admitted to be lies by the US secretary of defence at the time!
Mike Pompeo, the current US secretary of state, is another ruling-class bully who has recently let slip the real workings of US imperialism whilst attacking Corbyn.
In a recording leaked to the Washington Post, Pompeo was asked by “Jewish leaders” (it is not specified who), whether, if Corbyn were to be elected, he would “be willing to work with us to take on actions if life becomes very difficult for Jews in the UK?” Pompeo replied:
“It could be that Mr. Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected. It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”
In reality this has nothing to do with alleged antisemitism, but everything to do with the election of a left-wing Labour government. That the US should be prepared to intervene to prevent a left government abroad should come as a surprise to no one. US imperialism has intervened in countries on every continent, in order to defend its capitalist interests. Just ask the working class in Venezuela, who know a thing or two about US imperialist meddling!
No amount of meddling can stop Corbyn coming to power, however, provided that Labour mobilises workers and youth around a bold socialist programme.